CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on July 1, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 8:18-22

When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side. A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The scribe who approaches Jesus in today’s gospel makes a statement that I imagine all of us have made at some time or other in our lives of faith, Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go. It is easy to make such a comprehensive and total commitment to Jesus in moments of grace, inspiration, and spiritual insight. But when the harsh and rough circumstances of life overwhelm us, it is much harder. Today’s gospel tells us that one of the Lord’s disciples comes to him and says, “Let me go and bury my father.” When Jesus replies, “Let the dead bury their dead,” he is talking about steadfastness in Christian life. In our moments of grief–in moments when we doubt, are tired, or losing hope–what sustains us is our faith: that it is worth acting differently than I feel because I have made a commitment to the truth of following Jesus no matter what I am feeling. Constant recourse to prayer, the eyes of faith, humility in failure, and single-hearted commitment to kingdom values make us aware of how little our efforts mean and how much I must rely on God’s grace just to pray and believe. This does not come easily, because we are not disembodied spirits: hunger, the thousands of messages which bombard us daily, and the grind of work can exhaust and discourage us. But every victory over these things is the fruit of that first commitment to follow Jesus wherever he leads.

Saint of the day: Father Junipero Serra (Miguel Jose Serra) was born in Majorca on November 24, 1713, he joined the Franciscan Order at the age of 16. He soon gained prominence as an eloquent preacher and eventually became a professor of theology. His dream was to become a missionary to America. He arrived in Mexico City in 1750 to begin this new life.

Junipero_Serra_small2In 1769 he established a mission at the present site of San Diego, California, the first of a number that would include San Antonio, San Buenaventura, San Carlos, San Francisco de Assisi, San Gabriel, San Juan Capistrano, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Clara. This was a herculean task considering that Father Serra was already in his fifties and suffered from a chronic ulcerated condition in one leg. Serra was ascetic and uncompromising in his zeal to convert the Indians to Christianity and to make his missions self sufficient. Inhabitants built their own homes, spun wool for garments, and pursued careers as masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, and millers; thousands of barrels of grain were kept in reserve supply, and herds of cattle, sheep, horses, and swine were maintained.

The ulcerated condition of Serra’s leg eventually spread to his chest. At the age of 71, aware of his deterioration, he made a final visit to his missions. The well-known and beloved missionary died in Monterey, California, on August 28, 1784; his missions continued to flourish for another 50 years. He was beatified in 1988.

Spiritual reading: God creates each soul differently, so that when all the mud is finally cleared away, God’s light will shine through it in a beautiful, colorful, totally new pattern. (M. Scott Peck)

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